As the temperatures start to warm up, the starch that maple trees have stored in their trunks and roots is converted to sugar, which rises in the sap. Holes are drilled in the trunk, the sap is extracted and heated until most of the water is evaporated, and what's left is the sweet, sticky maple syrup we love to put on pancakes and waffles.
But maple syrup is for more than just breakfast. Sugar pie, or tarte au sucre, is a classic French-Canadian dessert (the province of Québec is the world's largest maple syrup producer, providing about 75% of the world's supply). For this dessert, a golden, crispy pie crust is filled to the brim with a sweet combination of brown sugar and maple syrup, giving the filling a deep, rich flavor.
Celebrate the end of the winter, break out that jar you’ve been saving for months, and make the most of the sweetest season of the year.
For the pie dough:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup 35%-fat cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and pulse until the butter resembles coarse crumbs and there are a few pea-sized pieces remaining.
Slowly add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until dough comes together. Press the dough into a disc, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough into a 10-inch (25-centimeter) round. Place into an 8-inch (20-centimeter) pie plate. Trim and crimp edges, then return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375° F. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, flour, cream, melted butter, and salt. Pour the mixture into pie shell, then bake in bottom third of oven until the filling has just set, the top is dark amber, and the pie dough is golden brown, about 50 to 60 minutes.
Let cool completely before slicing and serving.